PNP Fast Track option suspended pending review

VICTORIA – Effective Nov. 15, 2012, the Fast Track nomination option in
the business immigration stream of the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program
(PNP) is being suspended pending a review in order to ensure the program
is working effectively to support job creation and economic development
in B.C.

The PNP allows the Province to nominate a select number of candidates
each year to apply for accelerated permanent residence through
Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Since 2007, the B.C. PNP has
nominated over 17,000 individuals, including approximately 16,600
skilled workers and 400 business immigrants. Nominees in the business
stream have invested over $700 million and created more than 1,600 new
jobs, half of which have been outside of Metro Vancouver.

Through the Fast Track option, business applicants who have obtained a
PNP-supported work permit and have arrived in B.C. to set up their
business can request immediate nomination for permanent residence if
they post a $125,000 performance bond with the Province. The bond is
returned without interest to Fast Track nominees when they fulfil their
PNP performance agreement, but is forfeited to the Province if they fail
to meet their performance obligations.

This differs from the regular nomination process, where there is no
performance bond, but applicants are only nominated when they have
established a business.

Since 2007, 26 Fast Track nominees have successfully completed their
performance agreements, compared with 261 business applicants nominated
through the regular nomination process. The review will examine whether
the current Fast Track option supports the PNP’s role in regional job
creation and contributes to B.C.’s competitiveness in attracting more
business immigrants.

Suspension of the Fast Track nomination option will not affect the
assessment process for PNP business immigration applications. All
applications will continue to be assessed, and approved applicants will
be able to pursue nomination through the regular nomination process.

The Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for
Labour expects to complete its review of the Fast Track option within
the next 60 days, and will then implement changes to ensure the ongoing
effectiveness of the business stream of the B.C. PNP.